Thursday, November 11, 2010

Birthday Cupcakes

There are exactly 51 days of the year when Garret and I are the same age. The remaining 305 days of the year, he likes to endearingly call me a cradle robber or his cougar. Thankfully, I still get carded at the grocery store, and he usually doesn't. Garret finally entered his "late twenties" this week so we celebrated with friends at his favorite beer bar where we had tacos, craft brews and these cupcakes I made. They aren't exactly the typical fluffy-cakey cupcake most are used to. I would say they are more of a hybrid between a brownie and a flourless chocolate flavor. Topped with a bourbon-vanilla bean-brown sugar frosting, they were pretty good.

Cupcake Ingredients (makes 24)
4 sticks butter
14 ounces, high quality chocolate (I used a combo of 80% cacao and a little milk chocolate)
2 cups white sugar
8 eggs
2 T flour

Cupcake Directions
In a sauce pan, heat butter to medium heat until it melts. Break the chocolate bars into pieces and slowly stir/melt the chocolate into the butter without scorching. Transfer to a bowl. Add sugar to the chocolate mix and stir with a wood spoon until combined. Let cool slightly.

Add eggs one at a time to the frosting while mixing on a medium speed. When combined, add flour. Transfer batter to cupcake pans.

Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. They might remain a little doughy at this point, but that is okay. Turn the oven off and let the cupcakes cool for ten minutes with the oven door open, (in the oven the cakes will puff up and then collapse upon cooling) then transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.

Frosting Ingredients
(makes a LOT- you could probably half this if you aren't a frosting person)
1, 80z package of cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
vanilla beans from inside of vanilla pod- not completely necessary

Frosting Directions
Add cream cheese and butter to a bowl and mix on High for 5 minutes. Slowly add bourbon and brown sugar and keep mixing on high until well combined and fluffy. Add powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired stiffness. Add in vanilla beans for pretty specks, mostly.

Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes in desired amounts. If you don't plan to eat these right away, store covered in refrigerator until you plan to enjoy. Right before serving, you may like to sprinkle with some large sugar crystals or chocolate powder.

Happy Birthday Garret!

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